Determining net income for child support purposes.

Net income consists of the sum of the total income from every source minus these deductions; federal income taxes, state income taxes, Social Security payments (FICA), mandatory contributions to a retirement plan required by law, or as a condition of employment, union membership dues, individual and dependenthospitalization/health insurance premiums, prior obligations for child-support in accordance with a court order and expenditure for payment of debt that representsexpenses deemed reasonable and necessaryin order to produce income, medical expenses necessary to maintain health or life, and reasonable expenses for the benefit of the other parent and the child, exclusive of gifts. Basically, child-support is the net minus those mandatory deductions such as taxes, union dues and mandatory 401(k).

Many payers want to pay less child-support so they might try to take advantage of the deduction scheme and start deducting for other items out of their check such as car payments, utilities and loan payments. An attorney should scrutinize the payer’s paycheck stub to determine whether or not those deductions are reasonable and if they are not, they need to be factored back into the proper amount for child support.

The state guidelines recommend what should be paid, what percentage, for child-support. Those can be deviated either up or down, depending on the circumstances. However, the calculation of net income is set by the State of Illinois. In high income cases, such as athletes, the court will certainly be open to a downward deviation. It is sometimes crystal clear that a straight guideline percentage is too much. Take for example, a football player that is earning three million dollars for the year. It would be ridiculous to state that the child needs 205 of that income for support. That would result in a windfall for the custodial parent and for the child.